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June 24, 2024

The Australian Wines You Don’t Know About

*This is a sponsored post. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t trust what I’m saying! This means that the good folks at Wines of Victoria see value in compensating me to help communicate their message.

One of the best ways to drink better and up your wine game is to try a new wine every time. Maybe you’ve never had wine from a certain region or country. Perhaps a new grape you’ve never had. Or a brand you’ve never picked up off the shelves. To do this, you’ll have to step out of the grocery store or big box wine retailer and step into your local wine shop. Grocery stores and big box wine retailers generally only carry mass-produced commercial wines. The bottom line is that there’s not a whole lot of diversity on the wine shelves there. At your local wine shop, someone (usually one person) makes the buying decisions, which tend to be a bit more thoughtful. It’s here that you’ll find a more diverse and interesting selection of wines from places perhaps that you’ve never tasted.

Enter, Victoria, Australia! Today, we’re talking about the perhaps “new to you” region of Victoria, Australia, in the southeast part of the country. Australian wines usually mean two things to American wine consumers. First, they think of cheap “critter wines“ known for having cute little animals on the labels, made very famous by Yellowtail, also an Australian wine. The other thing that comes to mind tends to be the big and bodacious Barossa Valley Shiraz, a red grape that goes by Syrah in other places.

Guess what? There’s a lot more out there when it comes to Australian wine. Here are five fun facts about the region of Victoria, Australia, so that you can perhaps try a new wine and up your wine game. Next to drinking and enjoying wine, the fun part is keeping a sense of exploration and discovery so you never end up in a wine rut!

#1 The highest number of family-owned wineries in Australia is in the region of Victoria.

#2 There is major diversity in wine styles in Victoria. One wine style does not prevail. Why? This is because of the Great Dividing Range, which runs through the region and influences all the weather patterns, contributing to the wide variety of wine styles produced.

#3 There are more Italian grapes in Australia than anywhere else in the world outside of Italy. Recently, I have tried both Sangiovese and Fiano from Australia.

#4 Many of the wines in Victoria are under screw caps versus traditional cork. This is very common in Australia. And I’ll be the first one to tell you that when you see a wine under screw cap, you should have no question or concern about the quality of the wine. These days very high-quality wines are put under a screw cap with no problem.

#5 Victoria, Australia is not very well known in the wine world and doesn’t have name recognition. And since they can’t rely on their name, they have to compete on both quality AND price. This means you’ll find great valued wines at great prices from the region of Victoria.

I’ll be talking more about this region, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Californians can find Victoria wines at K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco, Redwood City, Hollywood, and Culver City. Others can check out Wine-Searcher to find a retailer near you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a Los Angeles-based certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer.

Brianne has educated and entertained over 10,000 people through her in-person and virtual wine tasting experiences.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping people Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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Sample Policy

As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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